Sexual assault suspect hangs himself in jail


DEL NORTE — A suspect in a multi-defendant sexual assault case hung himself in his jail cell Tuesday morning, according to the Rio Grande County Sheriff’s Office.

Howard Victor White, 56, of Del Norte, one of four people arrested this spring on sexual assault charges involving an 8-year-old victim, was found dead in his cell on June 20 at 10:45 a.m., the sheriff’s office related in a statement. White had apparently hung himself with a bed sheet.

The Del Norte ambulance was called to the jail and shortly afterwards the Rio Grande County coroner was called and pronounced White deceased, according to the sheriff’s office.

White had been in custody since March 16 on a charge of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust. His bond had been set at $150,000.

White was scheduled for a first appearance in court today, June 21.

White was arrested in March along with Mario Dominguez, 26, of Del Norte and Cristal Middleton, 21, of Alamosa. Helen Price, 56, was subsequently arrested in Moravia, Iowa. All faced multiple charges related to an alleged on-going sexual assault of an 8-year-old South Fork girl dating back to late 2015.

The crimes allegedly took place at an apartment complex in South Fork.

The arrests followed an extensive investigation by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the South Fork Police Department.

The CBI and South Fork Police Department also worked in cooperation with the 12th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Alamosa Police Department and the Monte Vista Police Department.